Shortly after the Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead over the Orange County Angels of Anaheim California, word began to spread around the Camelback Ranch complex that Duke Snider had passed away. The 7 time All-Star who is still the franchise leader in Home Runs (389) and RBI (1,271) will always be remembered for his gifted natural ability and being part of one of the great debates in all of sports history. Which New York team had the best Center fielder at the time, Mickey Mantle of the Yankees, Willie Mays of the Giants or Duke?
Not surprisingly, Vin Scully summed up how I’m sure all of Dodger Nation felt about Duke “He was an extremely gifted talent and his defensive abilities were often overlooked because of playing in a small ballpark, Ebbets Field. When he had a chance to run and move defensively, he had the grace and the abilities of DiMaggio and Mays and of course, he was a World Series hero that will forever be remembered in the borough of Brooklyn. Although it’s ironic to say it, we have lost a giant. He’s joining a great Dodger team that has moved on and I extend my sympathies to his entire family, especially to Bev.”
There are several great tributes to the Dodger legend that are full of information and better written than anything I would dare attempt. Check out Marty Noble’s piece on MLB.com.
Also Eric Stephen at True Blue LA has a great article.
There is a neat video on You Tube titled Duke Snider in His Own Words that I would recommend you check out by clicking here
As far as the game goes the Dodgers won 5-0 as Matt Kemp drove in 2 runs with a 1st inning single, which proved to be all the offense they would need. Rod Barajas added a 5th inning solo HR and the Dodgers played small ball in the 8th to score their final run. Jamey Carroll led off with a walk, stole second, Justin Sellers moved him over to 3rd with a ground out to the right side and Xavier Paul drove Carroll home with a sacrifice fly. Very nice to see the Dodgers already doing the little things they undoubtedly will have to do this year to score runs.
On the mound John Ely impressed during his 2 innings of work. Dodger GM Ned Colletti joined the TV broadcast and pointed out how the team has had Ely change his approach of pitching from the 3rd base side of the mound, to the 1st base side. Colletti said it’s a big step for Ely as it enables him to pitch more effectively by having his less than overpowering arsenal of stuff stay over the middle of the plate less.
6 Dodger relievers combined to scatter 3 hits over 7 scoreless innings with Ramon Troncoso looking particularly sharp by striking out 2 batters in his 1 inning of work. To see the complete boxscore click here. The Dodgers are back in action tomorrow at Camelback Ranch as they take on the White Sox.